Online Reviews can make or break your income

I feel the urge to start this article by reminding you, how more important it is for both, you and your service provider to have an issue or complaint discussed right away. This is the best solution to solve or get compensation. Leaving a bad review will not get you what you paid for and surely may leave a bad impact on the business. Nobody should use reviews as a system for revenge. It is unjust and inhuman. Be a better person, make your complaint directly to the management, and solve the issue in an appropriate manner.

Online reviews are a means for consumers to comment about a particular product or service to share their experience with other potential buyers or users. Such tools give power to consumers and help with keeping businesses in line to strive for optimal customer service levels. There are many ways how one can make a review with specific websites or social media channels being close at hand. Certain channels where customers can voice their feedback is via Trip Advisor, Airbnb and several Facebook groups such as our own RUBS (Are You Being Served).

Reviews should be given immense priority by businesses as these will influence their future sales. People are more likely to be influenced by the non-biased messages of other consumers rather than the advertising attempts of businesses. When it comes to reviews, bad news travels much faster than good, therefore negative feedback spreads like wildfire.

Positive reviews are essential for your online brand reputation. If you have started a new business with a small marketing budget, you are competing against other organisations who have already established a reputation. During this initial phase, it would be smart to attempt to incentivise and motivate customers to give positive online reviews. In this regard, you will need to have an online reputation management strategy to cater to the different feedback and reviews received. Having a social listening tool will help you with identifying any mentions of your brand across the internet. Tools you may consider could be Google Alerts and SocialMention.

When customers are not sure as to which brand they will go for, they are more inclined to look at customer reviews to check on people’s feedback. An example of this would be checking the Trip Advisor rating of a restaurant prior to booking. If there are a number of positive reviews, people are more likely to engage with the brand.

From a consumer point of view, you should also be aware of the fact that not all online reviews are honest or genuine. In some cases, companies plant positive reviews created by people close to the organisation or by its own employees. On the other hand, you will find negative reviews which may not be just and are done for the sole purpose of damaging a business. When it comes to products that all you get to see are five-star reviews, be wary. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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